By Prince Osuagwu
For many ICT professionals, the announcement of the burial arrangements of late president of Nigerian internet Registration Association, NiRA, Engr Ndukwe Kalu, last week, draws closer a bitter reality that the industry has lost a true facilitator and may live with the hard reality that the vacuum his death would create may take time to fill.
Ndukwe was found dead in his office, a fortnight ago in a manner that suggested cardiac arrest, after chatting with his workers a few minutes earlier before entering his office in the evening to conclude that dayâ€™s work.
Kalu was a pillar in the ICT sector, pionering different initiatives that would make ICT the mainstay of the Nigerian economy as seen in the developed countries of the world. His dedication, expertise and doggedness brought a huge revolution within the Nigerian ICT industry.
Under his leadership as president of NiRA, Nigeria in May 2009 achieved fullÂ local management of country code top level domain name, the .ng, which marks a major milestone in the history of Nigeria internet community in particular and ICT industry in general.
To his friends and contemporaries in the industry, it was hard to believe that Kalu could just die with such huge repository of knowledge and bright initiatives but as a burial committee, headed by a renowned lawyer, Barr. Emmanuel Uche, last week came up with a detailed burial announcement of the late NiRA boss, there could no longer be any argument that the man is gone forever.
Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Prof Cleopas Angaye said that â€œthe death of Ndukwe is a national loss.
Those who do not know the wisdom and expertise that was reposed in the young man may think that the family had lost aÂ member, but the truth actually is that the whole country has lost a major contributor to Information Technology development. He remembered the role Ndukwe played in the registration of the nationâ€™s country code Top LevelÂ Domain (ccTLD) name .ng, after over 13 years of registering with the current global coordinating internet agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
For him, it is big problem for NITDA to find another person in his mould to take over the good job he was doing in NiRA.
Former ITAN president and current Regional Director of D-Link, Mr Chris Uwaje, regretted the death of Kalu at a youthful age of 38 and noted that the nature of his death reaffirms the sense in the clamour for IT Parks and other ICT recreational facilities in the country so that stress in which ICT players undergo, doing their jobs are reduced.
Barr Uche in announcing Kaluâ€™s burial plans to media men in Lagos, said that after a Service of Songs.
On Tuesday 27th October 2009 at the Victory Centre, Assemblies of God Church, Clegg Street, Surulere, Lagos, the remains of Kalu would be flown to Abiriba, Abia state, where an All Night Wake Service would be held in his honour on 30th October at his AMSCO HOUSE, Agbor Court, country home Abiriba.Abia State.
These would be followed with his burial the following day and a thanksgiving Church service at the Victory Centre, Assemblies of God Church, Agbor Court, Abiriba, Abia State